Rep. Jennifer Webb launches re-election campaign

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Rep. Jennifer Webb welcomes supporters to the Historic Peninsula Inn Sept. 24. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Gulfport, Fla. | Rep. Jennifer Webb officially launched her re-election campaign for Florida House District 69 on Sept. 24 at the Historic Peninsula Inn.

Webb became the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to the state legislature in 2018, where she currently serves as Democratic Deputy Whip. Her district includes 12 cities throughout Gulfport, Pinellas Park, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg and more.

“I have been honored to serve my neighbors, local business owners and families of District 69 in the Florida House over the past year,” Webb shared ahead of the kickoff. “In my first year, I passed some important legislation and advocated for issues that would strengthen our district and all of Florida.”

Her advocacy includes co-sponsorship of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which has sought to extend statewide civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community for years. In August, Webb and other Tampa Bay lawmakers announced their intent to pass the bill with bipartisan support in 2020.

“We’re walking into session with 2020 vision,” she said. “2020 is the year we get this popular and common sense legislation across the finish line and move our state and our LGBTQ community forward.”

Focusing on how she would move her district forward, Webb reiterated her record and shared her vision for the future with kickoff attendees. Constituents, other elected officials and supporters new and old joined her in welcoming Cynthia Wurner, her spouse with “the kindest heart in our family,” and her parents, who Webb said taught her the importance of community.

Webb subsequently outlined her priorities, which she’ll will fight for on the Criminal Justice, Gaming Control, PreK-12 Innovation and Higher Education & Career Readiness subcommittees of the Florida House. She committed  to protecting the district’s drinking water and waterways, innovating education, investing in infrastructure and championing mental health awareness.

She also utilized the opportunity to highlight constituents who had inspired her throughout her year in office. “I’ve met some amazing people who have expanded my understanding of who is engaged and who’s paying attention,” she said, introducing seven-year-old Miles Fetherston-Resch and 22-year-old Christine Garner.

Fetherston-Resch founded Kids Saving Oceans,  the first conservation lifestyle brand by and for children (and adult allies.) The organization sells products made from recyclables to benefit conservation efforts. As Ms. Wheelchair Florida, Garner has used her platform to empower others and advocate for legislation to positively impact individuals who utilize wheelchairs.

“We do some amazing things in our district,” Webb addressed the crowd. “As I get ready for this coming session and kick off this campaign, I’m going to make some promises to you. I’m going to keep focusing on what  brings us together … We’re going to create a bubble of what’s good for House District 69 and we’re going to continue to work on that. I know that there is so much to move on with what we agree upon; let’s start there, and then we can fight about things that we don’t agree on.”

Recommitting herself to responsive governance, Webb ensured constituents that she would remain accessible and utilize creative solutions to put her district’s needs before partisan politics. “I promise to walk with integrity like you expect me to, to be answerable to you and to be able to account for how I spend my time,” she asserted. “I will report back to you and I will keep it simple … Thank you so much for turning out today.”

The general election will be held Nov. 3, 2020. For more information about Rep. Jennifer Webb’s campaign, visit ElectJenniferWebb.com. You can view Watermark’s photos of the launch party by Russ Martin and Ryan Williams-Jent below.

 

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